Monday, October 19, 2015

Oprah Winfrey and Chicago



For more than 25 years, Oprah Winfrey and the city of Chicago were synonymous with each other. Oprah filmed her popular syndicated Daytime Talk Show from her own Harpo Studios in Chicago. But in May 2011, the popular show had its finale episode since Oprah decided not to renew her contract.

Oprah had a major influence in Chicago during the years that she was a resident of the Windy city. Fans flocked to where her studio was located, other talk shows also had their production in the city ( e.g. The Jerry Springer Show) and even became an advocate for local communities. The street were her Studio campus is located was named after her.




She became involved with setting up her own cable network, the Oprah Winfrey Network or OWN. Oprah partnered with Discovery Communications in this endeavor.

Harpo Studios is located in the West Loop area of Chicago and it helped in the revitalization of the neighborhood and the Television/Film industry of the city. 

I read a news article in the Chicago Tribune that Oprah decided to transfer her entire production studios in California since it makes sense to have the entire company under one roof. Oprah moved to California when she started OWN. In December 2015, Harpo Studios in Chicago would be shutting down and bidding farewell to their home of 25 years.





I was lucky enough to see the location of Harpo Studios when I visited Chicago in 2011. It was one of the places that I promised my mom that I will visit since she's a fan of Oprah and her show.

When my cousins drove me to where the studio is located, it was raining. The streets were slippery and wet; I had to hurry in taking the photos since we were illegally parked.

The place looked a bit deserted because it was a Saturday afternoon. How I wished I went to Chicago years earlier when the show was still on-air. I might have been fortunate enough to get a ticket to watch it live.




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